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Blog - GAMBLING

As has been written in this blog before and elsewhere, Trakus puts quantitative fact behind observational anecdotes.  It is always up to the reader to infer how much the data resultant from a particular trip truly impacted an outcome.  Referencing the 2012 Kentucky Derby for example, I’ll Have Another covered 41 feet more than Bodemeister, who saved ground while leading through most of the race.  Creative Cause, however, was spun incredibly wide, mostly around the far turn, and went 29 feet more than I’ll Have Another in his fifth place finish.

If applying this data when handicapping the 1 3/16 miles of the Preakness, a half-furlong shorter than the Derby, there is every reason to believe if these horses ran similar races, the finish might be tighter, and that Creative Cause, given his extra ground coverage two weeks prior, would be in the mix.  The finish was closer, and Creative Cause finished third, albeit a significant distance behind the top pair. 

While Dullahan and Game On Dude covered more ground than most of the field in Sunday’s TVG Pacific Classic, both were well clear, and their stretch duel was a thriller.  Richard’s Kid saved plenty of ground in this year’s edition, traveling the third-shortest trip under Victor Espinoza.  On the surface, it appears Espinoza did what he could to work out an efficient trip.  Dullahan traveled 63 feet more than Richard’s Kid, while Game On Dude went 45 feet more.  The criticism often leveled when focusing on data comes into play here – some suggest that they rather their horse cover more ground than run the risk of getting stopped.  Momentum is everything.

Before this year’s Pacific Classic, we tweeted that Richard’s Kid covered the most ground in the field when winning the race in 2010, and plotted a wide course in his 2009 success.  Below are the ground-traveled statistics for each of the last three Pacific Classics that featured Richard’s Kid, with the number of feet he traveled, and the delta (difference in feet traveled) of the horses that finished near him.  Notice how he covered more ground than the next three finishers in his 2009 and 2010 wins, but did not in 2012. 

2009

1st

Richard's Kid

6712

 

2nd

Einstein

-13

 

3rd

Rail Trip

-40

 

4th

Parading

-6

2010

1st

Richard's Kid

6740

 

2nd

Crowded House

-47

 

3rd

Dakota Phone

-38

 

4th

Battle of Hastings

-92

2012

1st

Dullahan

+63

 

2nd

Game On Dude

+45

 

3rd

Richard's Kid

6668

 

4th

Rail Trip

+39

 

In post-race remarks to the media, trainer Leandro Mora noted his displeasure with the ride Richard’s Kid received from Victor Espinoza.  “The first thing I told him not to do, he did. I told him not to stay inside; he loves to be outside. But he was down inside and that’s not where I wanted him.”

While Trakus often tells stories of a race based on data, and highlights wide trips and how they may have impacted a race, some horses simply prefer racing in the clear.  Richard’s Kid seems to fit that bill.  He might traverse more ground, and it could hurt his final position at some point, but the horse has done the best running of his career when steered wide.

Earlier on the Pacific Classic card, Obviously set a course record in the Del Mar Mile Handicap, but Mr. Commons stirred the data pool, flashing home to run a close second, beaten only a nose.  As Obviously set a blistering pace and just lasted, Mr. Commons ran a final eighth in 11.25 seconds, which was almost a half-second faster than Obviously over that last furlong. 

The Pat O’Brien served as a smashing win for Capital Account over Coil and Camp Victory.  The early pace was incredibly slow for a one-turn Polytrack race, recorded in 23.78 seconds, and it enabled the field to have plenty left for the stretch drive.  The first five finishers combined to record five of the six fastest final furlong times of the meet at the distance.  More so, Capital Account’s final eighth in 11.31 seconds was the fastest final fraction for any race at the meet over any one turn sprint distance on Polytrack.  While it may have been one of the slowest sprints early, it was definitely the fastest coming home.

 

Image Description

Pat Cummings

Pat Cummings is the Director of Racing Information for Trakus. Based in Boston, Mass., Trakus provides full-field in-race tracking, instantaneous motion graphics, and real-time information to racetrack operators worldwide. Trakus is currently installed at racetracks in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Data analysis from Trakus appears on Twitter regularly @TrakusRacing.

Cummings also serves as the editor of DubaiRaceNight.com, a comprehensive website covering racing in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He has covered the Dubai World Cup on site each year since 2007 and provides selections for the entire season of racing in the United Arab Emirates and full-card analysis for all racing at Meydan. He also is the North American correspondent for Al Adiyat, a Dubai-based weekly racing publication.

Prior to joining Trakus, he worked for seven years in the financial services industry, and has served the racing industry in various capacities since 1999.  Pat was the backup announcer at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) from 1999 to 2009, and also has called cards at Atlantic City Race Course, Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park, Manor Downs, and Monmouth Park.

A member of the Turf Publicists of America, Pat earned his MBA from Baylor University in Texas and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

 

Image Description

Pat Cummings

Pat Cummings is the Director of Racing Information for Trakus. Based in Boston, Mass., Trakus provides full-field in-race tracking, instantaneous motion graphics, and real-time information to racetrack operators worldwide. Trakus is currently installed at racetracks in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Data analysis from Trakus appears on Twitter regularly @TrakusRacing.

Cummings also serves as the editor of DubaiRaceNight.com, a comprehensive website covering racing in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He has covered the Dubai World Cup on site each year since 2007 and provides selections for the entire season of racing in the United Arab Emirates and full-card analysis for all racing at Meydan. He also is the North American correspondent for Al Adiyat, a Dubai-based weekly racing publication.

Prior to joining Trakus, he worked for seven years in the financial services industry, and has served the racing industry in various capacities since 1999.  Pat was the backup announcer at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) from 1999 to 2009, and also has called cards at Atlantic City Race Course, Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park, Manor Downs, and Monmouth Park.

A member of the Turf Publicists of America, Pat earned his MBA from Baylor University in Texas and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

 

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